Joan Mattinson, Bellvale postmaster, retires

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:45

    WARWICK-Not long ago Bellvale Postmaster Joan Mattinson had an opportunity to head the New Milford Post Office, just a short walk from her home. "She turned it down," said her husband and former Warwick Postmaster, John J. Mattinson Jr. "Joan refused to leave all the friends and patrons she came to know at her Post Office in the Bellvale Country Store." On Tuesday evening, Jan. 4, many of those same friends and patrons surprised Joan at a buffet dinner party held in her honor at the Bellvale United Methodist Church. After 25 years with the U.S. Postal Service, seven of which were in Bellvale, Postmaster Joan Mattinson was about to retire. "I loved working here," said Mattinson. "And I love everyone at the Bellvale Country Store." Sometime soon, Mattinson and her husband plan to celebrate retirement by taking a cruise through the Panama Canal and then spending several weeks with their daughters Amy and Sarah, who live in San Diego, California. Later, they plan to purchase a motor home and leisurely travel throughout the United States. "We'll send post cards to the Bellvale Store," said Joan. John Mattinson Jr., a 37-year veteran of the Postal Service, retired last January. At that time he was Manager of Post Office Operations, overseeing 67 offices in Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties. John and Joan Mattinson both graduated from Warwick Valley High School. They are longtime residents of New Milford and have been married for 38 years. "We met each other at the Chat & Chu Restaurant," said John. "At that time Joan was working at Meduski's Supermarket." That remark will test the memory of even the oldest residents in this area. The two businesses once stood on the property that became Lloyd's Supermarket and which is now Warwick's ShopRite Plaza on Route 94 S. "My only regret," said John, "is that there used to be three of us and now there are no more Mattinsons in the local Postal Service." His father, the late John Mattinson Sr. had also served as Postmaster in Monroe. Joan Mattinson was scheduled to leave the Bellvale Post Office on Jan. 6. Donna Bars will manage the office until a new postmaster is appointed